Saturday, February 21, 2004

Delivery guy was assertive w/ Doorbell

Amanda and I decided tonight to start keeping track of what places we've ordered food from, when we order it, with the idea that by keeping up this practice we will eventually have a comprehensive guide to the area's delivery cuisine, with our impressions. Tonight we tried an Indian place called Dakshin, and here's its page in our little book, with Amanda's thoughts:



Okay, that's all for now. In the event of more fast-breaking news, I'll be sure to post it right away.


Friday, February 20, 2004


Quitter

You know, the last thing I want to do is make this into a Noah Quits kinda site, which is part of why I haven't said a word here about quitting smoking. (If you're unfamiliar with Bob Quits, it's an insultingly contrived media ploy on the part of the city to reinforce the fashionable persecution of smokers.) And I'm still not going to talk much about quitting smoking, because talking about it makes me want a cigarette almost as much as reading Bob Quits does. But I will say this: I think I've reached the point in my post-smoking life where I can function creatively without smoking. That's huge. For a while, it seemed that it was easy not to smoke, but that without cigarettes, there was no possibility of writing, drawing, designing, or composing anything. It was as if tobacco was what was inspiring me. And now, although not smoking has become much harder than it was before, I basically have my artistic faculties restored, which is a relief. It accounts for the fact that I've been, for all intents and purposes, writing a play -- and it also accounts for the flurry of improvements I've made to this site in the last week. So that's good news -- no longer a smoker, but still an artist. Who thought it was possible?

For smokers struggling to reform their nasty ways, the mystique of the non-smoker is tremendous. From inside our beautiful smoke-clouds, we would always wonder, what's with non-smokers, anyway? Do these people have some kind of problem? And what do non-smokers do? Why do they even get up in the morning?

Well, I now have an insider's take on the non-smoking mind, and what I realize, very simply, is that non-smokers are unhappy. That's what it is. When I smoked, I always wondered how anyone could be happy without cigarettes, and now I understand -- nobody can.

I'm kidding about all of this and it feels great not to smoke and I'm so proud of myself and now I'm going out to find one of the many ashtrays the city has put outside bars and restaurants (emblazoned, of course, with Bob Quits propaganda), and lick it.


Thursday, February 19, 2004

Open for Business

I still have some work to do, so the inventory is by no means complete, and the grand opening is a little while off, but I thought I might as well go public with a link to our latest feature:

The Nero Fiddled Emporium

Yes, yes, thanks to Cafe Press (and thanks to Marc-Anthony for bringing it to my attention), the enormous staff here at Nero Fiddled (like my blog has a staff) is now in retail. Or, as Mel Brooks said in Spaceballs, MOICHENDISING! Drop by the Emporium for a Bread and Butter lunchbox, Scooting Elk thong, Nero notebook, and much more! And even more to come. Amanda bought a Scooting Elk Messenger Bag today! So check out the little shop when you get a chance. The markups are tiny, I promise, and all proceeds will go to, uh, me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

With a Little Elk From My Friends

Okay, okay, listen to this. Those of you who know me know that I wear many hats -- the black one, the green one, the Yankees cap -- no, no, listen. At times I've been described as a playwright, songwriter, cartoonist, performer, New York City tour guide -- I am many things, but now the ultimate honor has been bestowed upon me. You may not know it, but I -- yes, I! -- am the Special Overseer of Specialized Non-Indiana Elk for the prestigious Save the Elk Club. I know, I know, people make elaborate claims like that all the time. I'm sure that this afternoon alone, at least two or three egocentric liars have come running up to you shouting, "Hey, guess what, I'm the Special Overseer of Specialized Non-Indiana Elk! How about a drink sometime?" But they're wrong. Because I am. If you don't believe me -- and, I'll concede, why should you? -- just swing by their website, and read the latest entry. I quote:

"...STEC is proud to announce this week that we are teaming up with a new partner located in New York, Noah Diamond, in the pursuit of furthering Elk safety. Noah, while residing in Manhattan, has devoted much of his time to saving elk; more specifically, a special breed of elk indigenous to the Staten Island area -- the Scooting Elk...His work and experience is superior to any other in this field and we at STEC warmly welcome all that he has to offer. His services towards the Scooting Elk Community are unmatched by any other, and we are most pleased to have him join our team. Welcome to the team Noah. Best wishes!"

SEE? Now swing by their Officers Page. There I am!

Those of you who have been in the fold for a while know of my passionate devotion to the Staten Island Scooting Elk, but I never dreamed that my Scooting Elk page would be discovered by President Kendi Thomas and the Other Distinguished Officers in Indiana, which is of course the heart of the Save the Elk movement. And I certainly never dreamed that a lovely correspondence would spring up between them and me. Now, to be invited into their ranks -- it's like a dream. I have even been granted an executive waiver from attending meetings, as the meetings are in Indiana.

What does it all mean? To be honest with you, this is all so new, I haven't had a chance yet to catch my breath and think about it. I know that I am taking on a lot of responsibility -- President Thomas made that clear in a recent e-mail. She also alluded to her organization's arch-enemy, the KTEC (Kill the Elk Club), with whom I assume I am destined to lock horns at some point. It's all so exciting, and a little scary. It seems like only yesterday I was just a concerned humanitarian, using the Internet to express my admiration for the majestic Scooting Elk of Staten Island, and now all of a sudden I'm on the executive board of this important society...wow. It's a lesson for the kids out there -- don't stop dreaming. Aim for the stars. Because yesterday's dreamer is tomorrow's Special Overseer of Specialized Non-Indiana Elk, and that is special.

I can tell you that the alliance between the STEC's website and this one will be yielding great things in the near future, and that my own elk-related plans call for a revamped Scooting Elk page, as well as the online availability of the much-coveted DON'T SHOOT - LET THEM SCOOT tee-shirt. Only one has ever been manufactured, and it belongs to Kim, but that will change soon. I mean -- no, Kim can keep her shirt. I'm just saying there will be more. I will not sleep until every man, woman, and child in America is wearing one. And quite frankly, I can't stay awake that long.

In non-elk news (not just non-Indiana elk news), yesterday was the last day of a lovely visit from Dad, Elisabeth, and Lindsey. Dad and I installed some spectacular shelves in the apartment -- kind of the last big thing Amanda and I were waiting for, for the moving-in process to feel complete. Everything looks great. On Monday night, we saw Rent, which was spectacular and inspiring -- I don't think it's been that good since the legendary original company, all the way back in the dear, dim days of 1996. It was beautiful, and I don't think I've ever seen the show that well-acted before. It was a good time to be there, as I've once again been writing a play, and whenever I find myself in that situation, a tap on the shoulder from Jonathan Larson is always meaningful.

On the way home from the show -- and what a difference, and what a thrill it is, to be able to go to a Broadway show and then WALK HOME! -- a very drunk guy started walking with us. He was pretty friendly and completely disoriented. He really liked my father. "You know what I can't find?" he asked.

"What can't you find?" asked Dad.

"Don't Tell Mama," the guy said -- referring, of course, to the cabaret bar on West 46th Street, with which my father was unfamiliar.

"I'm not gonna tell Mama," Dad promised.


Wednesday, February 11, 2004

DISARM NOW
[FROM THE NERO FIDDLED PAPERS]

An overview of the Cause of Disarmament.


The United States, as the most powerful country in the world, should come forward and say: Because we truly want peace, and because we believe that it is wrong to kill people, WE ARE DISARMING OUR COUNTRY on every level. The military is over. We’re not going to have a military anymore. We’re just going to have a big Peace Corps. And no more guns, because guns are bad. Not even for hunting, because hunting, too, is bad. It’ll take a long time, but after a number of years, there will be no more missiles, no more bombs, and no more guns. By making this move to disarm, the United States would immediately become the most civilized nation on Earth. Furthermore, disarmament is the only responsible example we could set, as the world’s one true superpower. It’s one of the best things we could do toward the noble end of furthering human evolution, because guns and violence constitute an evolutionary snag. So disarmament, in that large sense, is something we as humans must do in order to evolve; but specifically, politically, it is something the United States must do in order to become a great country.

Disarmament obviously is dangerous in that it creates vulnerability, but all progress does. Of course there would be some violent outcome – when you take away the weapons of a culture violent enough to have them in the first place, violence is inevitable. But violence, it seems, is inevitably anyway. What are we afraid of – social revolt? Riots? Violence in the streets? We have that anyway. And when a nation which has persecuted people as much as the U.S. has suddenly removes its military, it will be frightening. But aren’t we all frightened anyway? Don’t we live in constant fear of attack, anyway?

This is because the United States is hated for its might, and for the way it’s used its might, and after disarmament, there would be a period of transition. But this would be a very worthwhile transition – from the disarmament of the United States to the advent of world peace. Peace will come sooner, and fewer people will sickeningly be killed in its name, if the United States assumes true leadership and disarms now.


Friday, January 23, 2004

Gonna Sit Right Down and Write the CEO of CBS a Letter

Leslie Moonves, President/CEO
CBS
7800 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036-2188


January 23, 2004

Dear Mr. Moonves,

I am, and have long been, a huge fan of CBS programming. I guess it was sometime in the mid-1990s – the beginning of the Les Moonves Revolution – that I realized, much to my surprise, that my TV was always on the same network. I almost never have a reason to change it. Everything I love is on CBS!

Everybody Loves Raymond, Bette, The Fugitive, CSI, Becker, Queen of Hearts – these are a few of my favorite things, I began to realize. Not to mention the venerable 60 Minutes, and its not-at-all-disappointing follow-up, 60 Minutes II. And I’ve had three guilty pleasures in my life, and they are The Young and the Restless, The Bold and the Beautiful, and As The World Turns. Yeah, yeah, I’m a guy and I watch soaps sometimes. The best damn soaps on television. (I’m sorry, I just can’t say the same for Guiding Light.)

When I realized that I apparently had an affinity for all that was on CBS, I started reading about the network’s incredible history – as great an American saga as those presented in the network’s superior programming – and about the “miracle worker” of its modern era, you – Les Moonves. I knew I recognized the name – then I realized that I was already a fan of Moonves the actor, unforgettable on The Six Million Dollar Man.

And then you did it. You got back pro football. And you made it great again in the process. And that, really, is when I stopped changing channels. Now everything I loved was on CBS. There isn’t much I love more than football.

But I can’t watch the Super Bowl this year, and I can’t watch Survivor, and I can’t watch the Grammys, or 48 Hours. I can’t even watch Letterman! I’m giving up almost all of my favorite shows, because although I love TV and I love CBS, I have come to feel that I do not want to be your customer anymore, because the clear and demeaning political agenda of this network has become intolerable to me. In one of the most difficult and principled decisions of my life, I am refusing to watch a Super Bowl interrupted by advertisements for beer and Bush, but not for MoveOn or PETA. I am shocked and saddened by these fascistic acts of censorship – not of objectionable material, but of respected, widely-held opinions? I mean, Leslie, do you think that the only people who watch television are conservatives? Soon, I suspect, conservatives will become your only remaining audience. It’s less than half the country.

Shame on you, I guess, is all I can say, for betraying your commitment to television as diverse and as bold as this nation. For allowing your integrity to be purchased by politics. I really think you used to be a hero. And you used to be relevant! Your choices over the last ten years have seemed to reflect that. But you and CBS finally strike me as undeniably out of touch.

Changing the channel,
Noah Diamond